Landlord, tenants could face legal action after balcony collapse

“If I were representing one of these victims, I would look at suing both the landlord and the tenant,” said Florida Costal School Of Law Professor, Rod Sullivan.

Sullivan said if the tenants don’t have renter’s insurance, victims can go after any assets they may have.

“The tenants’ potential liability comes in because the tenant apparently complained about it in the past that the deck was weak, but let 15 to 20 people go on the deck at one time,” said Sullivan. “They certainly bare some responsibility for the loss, but the primary responsibility seems to rest with the landlord if the deck was not maintained, in good condition or not built correctly in the first place.”

read/watch more at News4Jax.com.

Times-Union sues mayor, city, fire and pension pension board

An attorney at the Florida Coastal School of Law who specializes in open records and the Sunshine law says the newspaper’s lawsuit is well founded.

“The city did violate the collective bargaining practice by doing these in private,” said Rod Sullivan. “I think the entire process of file, the civil rights complaint in federal court, is a sham.”

… read the entire story at News4Jax.com.

Maurice Jones-Drew investigation close to concluding

Nick Martino, a defense attorney and adjunct professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, cautioned that the videotape doesn’t guarantee an easy understanding of what happened.

“I can tell you that the picture quality of these tapes is very poor,” Martino said. “They may not even be able to tell if it’s Maurice Jones-Drew.”

Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/sports/football/jaguars/2013-06-05/story/maurice-jones-drew-investigation-close-concluding&utm_source=feedly#ixzz2VLlyouvs

Court throws out conviction over cell phone search by Jacksonville police

The Florida Supreme Court has thrown out the armed-robbery conviction and 50-year prison sentence of Cedric Tyrone Smallwood after ruling that Jacksonville police illegally looked at photos on his cell phone.

The case, decided by a 5-2 vote, has statewide implications because the court ruled that police cannot look at information on a cell phone without getting a search warrant first.

“It’s a huge decision,” said Rod Sullivan, a professor of constitutional law at Florida Coastal School of Law. “Police have been looking through the cell phones of people they arrest for years.”

Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2013-05-02/story/court-throws-out-conviction-over-cell-phone-search-jacksonville-police?utm_source=feedly#ixzz2SEflkzZK

Attorneys embarrassed and disgusted over peer’s actions

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The case against a local attorney accused of grand theft and exploitation is alarming members of the local legal community.

“It’s never a good thing when you’re moving money from one place to another,” say Sarah Sullivan, Associate Professor of Professional Skills at the Florida Coastal School of Law.

Sullivan says local attorneys are embarrassed and disgusted that their peer, Cynthia Nichols, is accused of scamming her elderly client, Mary Vest, out of $100,000.

Action News went to Sullivan to find out how this could happen.  She says guardians are court appointed, and must follow strict rules.

“Every year, [guardians] have to go back to the court and do a fairly detailed record of accounting that talks about everything that’s come in, and everything that’s gone out of their clients accounts.”

But in this case, Sullivan says something looks wrong.

… read the entire story at Action News Jax.

Lawmakers differ on how to fix juvenile sentencing laws

J.D. Moorehead, a professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, said Bradley’s legislation would likely survive a court challenge because it addresses the major concern the Supreme Court had.

Soto’s plan to bring back the parole system might be more problematic, although it does make a certain amount of sense to bring back parole for juveniles, Moorehead said.

The most logical step might be to take a hybrid of both bills, give judges the option of life without parole but allow them to impose a lighter sentence, and also let judges decide whether the defendant should be eligible for parole at some point, Moorehead said.

“Judges know the people in front of them best,” he said.

Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2013-04-06/story/lawmakers-differ-how-fix-juvenile-sentencing-laws#ixzz2PyHf4JR1

Denial Of Worker Compensation Claim May Work In Children’s Favor

Florida Coastal School of Law professor Rod Sullivan says not having that insurance puts Rosado’s employer at huge legal and financial risk.

“In exchange for purchasing workers compensation insurance, the employer gets immunity from suit by the employees. So that, at the end of the day, if this employer actually has money, the employee would actually get more money because they didn’t have workers comp. But, they’d have to go through litigation to get that money.”

read more at WJCT.

Florida grapples with what to do with underage killers

That ruling appears to be in conflict with Florida law, and judges are caught in the middle, said J.D. Moorehead, a professor at Florida Coastal School of Law.

“There is no longer any penalty available for juveniles convicted of first-degree murder,” Moorehead said. “We now have all of these cases in limbo.”

Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2013-02-17/story/florida-grapples-what-do-underage-killers#ixzz2LSAJTMij

Justin Bieber to Fans: I Own Your Snapshots

Can Bieber get away with such a thing? It’s possible, according to Heidi Anderson, a contracts law professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, who wrote about Bieber’s ploy in a recent blog post.

“It’s not what the signs say that matters most,” Anderson tells Lawyers.com. “Instead, it’s what is given in exchange for the promise(s) in the signs, if anything.”

Read the entire piece at Lawyers.com.